We now have a detailed wall map of the Indianapolis Area hanging in the Information Commons near the Reference Collection. It covers all of Marion County and the surrounding cities, such as Carmel, Noblesville, Brownsburg, and Greenwood. Every road and highway is depicted (unless it was just built in the last year or two).
Here’s a mini version:
As a review for those who are at the Librarians Meeting yesterday, and as an explanation for those who were not able to attend, here is a description of the procedure that the Information Commons Assistants will be using to contact you.
During the normal work day, when the IC Asst. gets a question in your subject area for which they are not comfortable or capable of providing an answer, they will use IM or phone to contact you. This will hopefully get the student’s question answered as efficiently as possible.
If it is during the evening (or during the day but you are unavailable), the IC Asst. will create a Consultation Appointment in Outlook, inviting you and the student to attend. The location will be your office and the time will be one that is free on your calendar. No more than TWO Consultation appointments will be given you on any one day. These appointments will be “chaired” by “Information Commons.” If the time/day does not work for you, you can “Propose a New Time” instead of “Accepting” the invitation. The students will be told to check their email before showing up at your office, so the appointment time can be confirmed.
The student will leave the Information Commons with your business card in hand, with the appointment time written on the back. If they have any questions or need to change the time/day, they will have your contact information to facilitate that.
Students are now being hired for Fall 2009 employment in the new Information Commons which is being developed. Any students interested in emerging technologies, rich media, research skills, and excellent customer service are encouraged to visit http://www.butler.edu/infocommons
for more information and to apply. (Copy and paste the link into your browser.)
The mission of the Information Commons is to provide support for Butler University students in the discovery and creation of information, especially focusing on rich media creation, technology assistance and training, and research assistance.
The Information Commons is both a physical space and virtual space. It comprises the Reference area and Education Commons in Irwin Library, the Instructional Technology Commons in Jordan Hall, and the online environment of information technology and knowledge media. The Information Commons is a place for Butler students, faculty, and staff to get access to information, knowledge, technology, and research assistance to aid them in their pursuits of discovering and creating information.
One question that gets asked rather frequently is about whether a certain program is installed on the library computers. I’m happy to say that BOTH libraries are on I.R.’s official list of “Departmental Labs” and have all the installed programs listed on the I.R. “Lab Locations” website: http://www.butler.edu/labs/?pg=2538
I have also included this information (with a link to that same “Lab Locations” page) in the FAQ list on our website.
The process of developing a new program for employing and training students to work at the Reference Desk is continuing and nearing complete definition. Here are some updates:
- The students who will eventually be working at what is now the Reference Desk will cover all the hours the Desk is open (10:00am – 10:00pm MTWR, 10:00am – 5:00pm F, 5:00pm – 10:00pm Sun) and will also work in the I.T. department from 9:00am – 5:00pm M-F. Julianne and I will be creating a pool of students who will work mostly either in Reference or in I.T., but will also spend some time in the other area.
- After much bandying of words and experimenting with titles, we ended up deciding that we preferred Information Commons Associate for the student position title. “Associate” makes the position sound much more professional than “Student Assistant” and the more we played with “Information Commons,” the more we liked it. Julianne has already been calling her space the “Instructional Technology Commons” and we came up with a vision for the Information Commons, while having a main hub in the library (esp. the Reference Dept.), being essentially a virtual space with various physical manifestations. Students can enter the Information Commons virtually from their dorm room, chat with Info Commons Associates online (or liaison librarians for that matter), browse the Digital Commons, or physically visit the Information Commons in Irwin or Jordan (or eventually other campus locations).
- Julianne and I plan on finalizing the job description and the program’s description and mission this week. This will allow us to start advertising and hiring students early in April.
- The Info Commons Associates will be coming back to Butler a week before classes start. We will spend that Thursday and Friday training them on basic tech support for the computers and software we have, research skills (info literacy), customer service skills, and how to recognize when to turn over a student’s research question to a liaison librarian.
- In the future we plan to involve the more experienced students in the training of their peers. Our goal is to create an internship style of program that will lead to students taking portfolios and local “certifications” with them when they graduate.
At the next librarians meeting, the details will all be in place and I will present more information on the program.